I am happy to announce a new Language Cultural Immersion Tour in Matera with the Studentessa Matta. In September 2013: 14th – 21st we will travel to la Basilicata where we will be immersed in the culture of Matera while expanding our Italian language skills!


The 2013 “Studentessa Matta” Matera/Basilicata Tour is a custom-designed experience in the south of Italy, in the heart of the Basilicata. This language and cultural immersion tour will give each participant a unique opportunity to explore Matera and the “Sassi” with experienced teachers and guides. The tour is ideal for both beginners who want to embark on learning Italian while exploring the charms of la Basilicata, as well as for advanced language learners who want to deepen their understanding of the language & polish their conversation skills in a warm and friendly environment.


Ilaria Navarra of Percorso in Italy, has invited me to co-host a language immersion experience in her hometown of Matera. You may recall that I have featured Ilaria and her project here on the blog before. Ilaria is dedicated to her job and has a great passion for her Paese. During the 2013 Language & Cultural Immersion tour in Matera, Ilaria will act as coordinator and with experienced Italian teachers will lead morning Italian classes and seminars. During the afternoons we will continue practicing the language while being treated to a new cultural activity every day. We will be cooking, wine tasting, sampling local cheeses and gelato, learning about Matera’s fascinating historical past, interacting with the locals, as well as living & enjoying the lifestyle of the Basilicata at our own pace, during several free afternoons and evenings. Accommodations for single and double occupancy rooms will be arranged at Le Monacelli, a renovated monastery (where we will be studying) or, in nearby B&Bs that are within walking distance of our school.

Saturday, Sept. 14th – Saturday, Sept. 21st, 2013

A 60 Day Refundable Deposit of $300 per person is required to confirm enrollment. Or, you may pay the entire tour price when you make your booking. (*After 60 days the deposit will no longer be refundable).

Final Payment: The final payment is due 45 days prior to the start of the tour date – on or before August 1, 2013

To book your tour please contact Melissa at: and I’ll send you a welcome letter & a booking form. You will need to sign the form and send it back to me via fax or email along with the deposit payment via check or via PayPal.




What our Matera/Basilicata Tour includes:

6 Days of Italian language classes (3-1/2 hours each morning) with experienced teachers. 2 levels: elementary & intermediate/advanced. Plus uniquely crafted opportunities to immerse yourself in Italian language conversation with locals, friends, family & teachers

7 Days Accommodation at the Le Monacelle in the heart of Matera, or at local B&Bs within walking distance of the school. Please specify if you would like a single (1 person) or double room (2 person) accommodation.

• All breakfasts
• Welcome aperitivo
• Welcome Lunch & Farewell Dinner
6 Days of Interactive Cultural Activities which will include:
– Tour of Matera with a professional guide in English & Italian
– Welcome lunch at a local restaurant
– Wine tasting
– Tour film sites where famous movies where made in Matera/watch an Italian movie filmed in Matera
– Evening Cooking Lesson / we will dine on what we prepare
– Wine tasting: local Basilicata wines
– Ceramics & Cartapesta demontration by a local artisans & chance to create a small object under his guidance
– Learn La Tarantella the local folk dance
– Pizza night at a trattoria
– Walking tour to Gravina
– Art History Tour of local churches and art/tour special exhibition
– Spa afternoon
– Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant
**For lunches and evening meals not detailed above, we have arrangements with 2 local restaurants were participants may eat for a reduced fixed rate.

Tour cost does not include: Airfare. Transfer to & from Matera.


Itinerario / Itinerary

Saturday, September 14: Participants arrive in Matera and settle into their rooms at “Le Monacelle”, or at a local B&B, situated amongst the hundreds of dwellings and churches dug out of the rock in the SASSI DISTRICT also known as Old Town. Meet Melissa & Ilaria and share a welcome glass of wine!

Sunday September 15:
Participants meet at 10:00 am for Morning Orientation & tour of facilities
Italian Lesson: “History of Matera” – linguistic activities aiming to familiarize students with the city of Matera, its peculiarities and traditions, introducing at the same time the afternoon walking tour
Welcome Lunch – Tasting local products at a Bottega in Matera and GELATO
Afternoon Walking tour of Matera (Unesco world heritage site), experience the VICINATO philosophy, students will visit the most famous landmarks of the city as well as been guided through some of its most spectacular hidden jewels (with a professional guide in Italian & English)
Free Evening

Monday September 16
• 9:00 am – 11:00 am: Italian Lesson (Indoor): Games & activities
Coffee break in the garden (30 minutes)
• 11:30 – 1:00 pm: Italian Lesson
Lunch/Free Time
• Beginning at 3pm Italian lesson & movie set tour (Outdoor), More than 40 films have been made in Matera & we will explore many of those film locations on foot
• Cooking Lesson/Dinner together eat what we have prepared & tasting local wines of the region

Tuesday September 17
• 9:00 am – 11:00 am: Italian Lesson (Indoor): Games and activities
Coffee break in the piazza (30 minutes)
• 11:30 am – 1:00 pm: Italian lesson
Lunch/Free Time
• Beginning at 4pm Ceramica & Cartapesta: students will be instructed by local artisans of ceramic & cartapesta. For the students who are interested, there will also be a chance to create a small object by themselves, under the guidance of a local artisan.
Free Evening

Wednesday September 18
• 9:00 am – 12:00 pm: Italian lesson (Outdoor). Visiting the markets of Old town: students will be divided into small groups & each will be presented with a task to accomplish – students will work together to speak & interact with locals.
• 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm: Return to class and feed back activity on language & useful vocabulary – there will also be a small prize for the winning group
Lunch/Free Time
• Beginning at 7pm Pizzica & Pizza! Dance Lesson: La Tarantella! (We will see a performance/demonstration as well as learn the traditional Italian folk dance with tambourine)
• Pizza at a local trattoria

Thursday September 19
• 9:00 am – 11:00 am: Italian Lesson (Indoor)role play and games/review language points
Coffee break in the piazza (30 minutes)
• 11.30 am – 1:00 pm Italian Lesson (Indoor)
Lunch/Free Time
• Beginning at 4pm Gravina Walking Tour a walk through the scenic area of Murgia Timone in front of Sassi, discovering the most spectacular rock landscapes with carved out cave-churches enriched with frescos.
• Free Evening

Friday September 20
• 10:00 am – 1:00 pm: Italian Lesson (Outdoor) Art History Lesson: visiting local churches, local artists/special local exhibit & walking architectural tour
Lunch/Free Time
• Mid afternoon Relax in a local spa / surprise activity (details to come)
Farewell Dinner & Review language progress

Saturday September 21: Arrivederci! Ci sentiamo!

Join Ilaria and Melissa in Matera in April 2013 for an amazing language immersion experience! Ci vediamo a Matera – la città dei Sassi!

Melissa will provide assistance with all reservations.
Please contact Melissa at:

To learn more about current Learn Italian in Italy programs with Melissa click here

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